Postscript on Greek prosgegrammeni

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Wed Apr 03 1996 - 13:23:02 EST

Dean et al.,

A few more interesting details about Greek prosgegrammeni:

1. The diphthongs in question (long-alpha+iota, eta+iota, omega+iota)
apparently ceased to be pronounced as diphthongs about 400 B.C.

2. The Greeks themselves stopped writing the prosgegrammeni
about 100 B.C.

3. Classical Greek was, of course, written entirely in what we
now consider to be "uppercase" Greek, so the prosgegrammeni was
in fact written AI, <ETA>I, <OMEGA>I when it was written. The
miniscule forms are basically medieval innovations, and the
practice of writing iota subscript on the lowercase Greek
letters dates from the 11th century A.D.

Moral of this story: Be careful what you write -- someone may have
to encode it two millenia in the future.

--Ken Whistler

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